A brave new world has emerged for our children. Whereas once bullying was confined to the school yard, or the back hall, now bullying penetrates into every aspect of their life space. At night, alone, in their bedroom, surrounded by family, our children have become targets, and victims. What are we going to do and who are we going to turn to? As Nat King Cole once sang, “Straighten out and fly right…”
Ah ideology. Whether it is left or right, pink or blue, it is ideology non the less. Ayn Rand was clearly an ideologue and people liked her because she provided justification for all sorts of greedy, selfish, and inconsiderate behaviors under the banner of some sort of naturally sanctioned individualism. But swing the pendulum the other way and we trod on our fellow peeps in the name of the collective good. My question? Are left and right really that different when the result (oppression, suppression, and concentrated wealth) are the same?
When it comes to family, do we have a problem?According to Anna we do and I gotta agree with her because in a lot of ways she’s right. As a therapist I have seen first hand how “families” shit on and abuse each other and it ain’t pretty and what’s worse, the abuse is always justified. Even sexual abuse of four year old children can be conveniently ignored when it occurs in a “family” setting. On top of all that, children are programmed into The System by their parents. But does all this mean family is necessarily a bad thing? No, not necessarily. Personally I think family is the best bet we have of surviving, and tight knit, functioning families are pretty much the only way of meeting the deep emotional and psychological needs of children. But that holds only when the family is healthy, only when all members have equal power, only when all members are respected, and only when all members are one hundred percent free of emotional, psychological, sexual, and physical abuse. If these conditions are not met then ya, there’s a problem.
What makes us put up with violence? Why, when we see abuse around us do we pretend it’s not abuse. This is a question that as a sociologist and parent of two school age children I find myself asking a lot. Why don’t we see the violence that our kids are subjected to on a daily basis? Why do we normalize, minimize, and ignore abuse? What’s even more of a concern, why can we see it for what it is in some situations, but be totally oblivious in another. Inquiring minds, research scientists, and concerned parents want to know.
Academic communities and higher learning facilities like universities are the places where great knowledge is born and passed on with the purpose of ‘enlightening’ our societies for the better. Or is it? Aren’t academies and universities about socialization into The System and indoctrination into ideas that support hierarchy, exclusion, etc. According to Anna Brix Thomsen, its both. Universities are useful and do make a [technological] improvement in things, but usually only for the primary benefit of the elite. Trickle down benefits there may be, but its ultimately about maintaining the status quo and further enriching those who are already with privilege.